The Sun Magazine
107 North Roberson Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516


We were surprised by the normally levelheaded Krista Bremer’s misleading attempt to justify her husband Ismail’s circumcision of their son (“The First Cut,” February 2008). Contrary to Bremer’s suggestion, her son, having lost his foreskin through no fault of his own, is by definition no longer intact.

The story of Ismail, who rejected virtually all other trappings of his religion, nevertheless insisting on cutting his newborn son, raises the question why he retained this “custom” while rejecting all others? Why forcibly mark your son with your own religion when the son may turn out to be as freethinking as his father and may complete Dad’s process of moving away from Islam?

Circumcision amputates functional tissue serving three critical functions—immunological (helps defend body against infection), protective (safeguards glans and rest of penis) and erogenous (sex with an intact penis feels great).

Sure, sexuality is a complex matter, but that doesn’t mean that cutting off functional tissue is therefore OK. Male circumcision continues to be the most common surgical operation performed on males in this country, and the only procedure performed on children without medical justification.

With your self-described position as one of the country’s most “personal, political, and provocative” magazines comes the responsibility to investigate and publish the truth, even when it conflicts with widely held American myths. We ask that you set the record straight on this issue. Let’s protect all children from needless and painful surgery.

J. Steven Svoboda
Executive Director
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child